January 21, 2016

General Membership Meeting Minutes 01-21

January 21st, 2016, 6:30 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.

East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address: eastphillips-epic.com
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404

Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass.
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass.
Board Members Not Present: Laura Dale (E), Jean Howard, Margarita Ortega.
EPIC Members: Brad Pass, Michael Green, Nataly Sanchez, Nur Ahmed, Craig Seifert
Guests: Michelle Chavez, Matthew Bell, Rep. Karen Clark, Shirley Heyer. Jennifer Hager (Public Works), Jana Metge

6:45     Introductions:

·       Greetings and Introductions.
o   Riddle: what jumps up and down and always comes back around? Answer to be revealed later
·       Meet as Committee of the whole (MG, CP, approved.)
·       Approval of Agenda as amended by consensus.
·       Approval of Minutes from December 10th, 2015, with corrections (MG, NS, approved.)

7:05     Announcements:

  • Shawna Dillon reported that she is starting a soup kitchen at Little Earth; twice per month on 1st and last Saturdays (starting Jan. 23 at 11 am); board games; accepting donations of board games. Volunteers welcome. Call 612-886-4273 or email shawnadillon04@gmail.com.
  • THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & REGULATORY SERVICES COMMITTEE at 1:30 pm to discuss and vote on Green Zone Task Force
  • EPIC Board Meeting, East Phillips Park, Sat, 10:00 am, February 6th, 2016.
  • EPIC Membership Meeting, East Phillips Park, Thursday 6:30 pm, February 11th, 2016.
  • Valentine’s Day – February 14th
  • Read the Alley Articles – EPIC posts in every issue.
    • If anyone wants to write an article about East Phillips news, send them over to EPIC & the Alley.
    • If you want to write a general article, contact Harvey Winge at www.alleynews.org.
7:11     Quorum achieved. Confirmed approval of the agenda and minutes. Approved.

7:00     Report on Roof Depot, Urban Farm concept and Green Zone Vote from Karen Clark

EPIC members should write and communicate concerns to the City Council about the impact of pollution on the community.
The issue of the Green Zone in general is something that is still just sitting there. Would the community want to ask the legislature to do something? Currently, there is room for the senate to raise this issue and it would give the community an opportunity to weigh in again.

Karen Clark and Shirley Heyer are working on writing a planning grant for funding to provide a structure for community members to have participation in planning this urban park/green zone and what it would look like.

CM Kevin Reich, 673-2201; members can write and request support for neighborhood impact on the green zone issues.

CP spoke with Barb Johnson and told her that there are a lot of other items connected with the green zone, not just the Roof Depot issue, and called on her and rest of the City Council to see this issue independently from other more controversial items and our neighborhood needs this zoning to help raise  funds and deals with the pollution issue.

Individuals and organizations can provide letters of support for the urban farm and green zone concept as they choose. They don’t need an okay from anyone. These are their elected officials. It is only the Board in its official capacity that needs an okay from the board to send an official letter on letterhead.

MOTION: EPIC will review what type of funding and what amount would be needed to fund creation of a business and community development plan specific to the urban farm/green zone concept; investigate what funding sources are available for funding such a project. (CS, NS, Approved.)

MOTION: The EPIC Board may generate letters in support for anything supporting the urban farm/green zone concept. (CP, JB, Approved.)

Michael Green asked how members can know when letters required by a motion are sent.
Response? Several people replied, just ask.

7:45     Great Opportunity: Professional Microsoft Training Program for MS Office Suite coming to East Phillips soon. Find out about a path to future jobs.

BP reported on efforts to provide classes that enhance job training and financial literacy. To make a computer lab functional for people to learn job skills, you have to have good software. Began negotiating with Microsoft to provide software for all parks in Minneapolis. East Phillips Park will be the first park to have the Microsoft Office Suite of software installed. This opportunity also provides training to “volunteer teachers” who can pass along training to others.

The class has a market value of over $1,000 and this “certification” class will be provided free for several volunteers. If you know someone who would be a good candidate for this training, contact the park director, or Brad Pass. Must be 18 years of age, and willing to give back to the community in return for the training. We hope to begin the program in about a month or two.

8:55     Hi-Lake Interchange Study, Intro and Overview: Jeni Hager, Public Works will be with us to explain

MNDOT and Metro Transit have been conducting a study of the Hiawatha/Lake intersection. Responding to concerns about pedestrians and bicycles, the City and County agreed to fund the study. It is a technical study (no community engagement.) We are analyzing the data and will be presenting a report to the policymakers in about a month. Policymakers include Corcoran neighborhood who organized a walk with McLaughlan, Charlie Zellie, Commissioner of Transportation. In addition, this past autumn a meeting was organized by the Mayor, with the council member and various agencies.

Right now there is no “project.” The study has been tasked with presenting possibilities with related costs, from a “planning perspective.”

If policymakers decide to fund a project, Public Works will come back out to the neighborhoods to present and carry out the community engagement piece.

Jeni reported that the staff responsible for issues on 26th and 28th are aware of issues, and EPIC reported that we have written to request a representative to attend a meeting.

SH pointed out that some people would like to be engaged in the process of collecting the data.

8:10     Progress: Speed Bump project for 2400 block of 18th Ave & 2900 block of 16th Ave

There have been conversations between Margarita and others to fund speed bumps in the neighborhood, for those blocks that have received confirmation of need by the city. Would the community support providing a fund from which “first dollars in” funding could be used for approved streets?

CP would want to make sure any specific fund would have a “sunset” provision.
NS suggested that such a fund would provide a process that any block could apply to for other, different safety projects.

MOTION: EPIC’s board will work to develop a proposal for providing a funding process for blocks to receive funding related to safety, through a process that includes, but is not limited to speed bumps, lighting, etc., and which designates funds but also provides a “sunset” provision. (CS, RC, Approved.)

8:22     Progress: Crime Cameras

Julie Ingebretsen offered her building for the Lake St. camera. CP has the contracts and is working on getting approval for putting the post up that is needed for a camera in Cedar Field.

The cameras serve as a deterrent, but also help solve crimes. Only the police have access to video from the cameras.

8:28     Progress: Feasibility of EPIC Office at 2433 Bloomington Ave.

EIC has been working on finding an office for about 4 years. It is in our NRP Phase II Survey. EPIC needs to have an office if we are to hire staff. The EPIC Board and others have looked everywhere in East Phillips for suitable office space. East Phillips is a pedestrian neighborhood, and we want it to be walkable and located in the neighborhood. The Welna building is missing only one thing – an accessible restroom. We rented it, seeing we could fix the access problem with a ramp, not realizing the bathroom problem. Then we found that out. Also there was competition for the space. If we hadn’t rented it at that time, we would have lost this possibility for good. We are working hard to figure this out.

There has been some controversy about this – First there was no money attached to the motion of the last meeting. Looking back over all the minutes, EPIC has been discussing this specific property going back to mid-2014. At first, after resolving the ramp issue , we considered the addition of just the restroom, but then we thought we might also try to add a conference room. Initially we assumed we would have to use other non-City money. We thought we could we raise the money to do this. Mary suggested we use NRP dollars to make it go faster. We don’t know if this is possible. If we could use some EPIC money to do this, it would speed up the process. The EPIC office needs to happen soon.

We took the plan to the Development Review people of the city as authorized by the EPIC members at the last meeting. CP showed a picture of the plan. They said it was fine, very simple, no problems and ‘a piece of cake’. We need architectural drawings for the City Development Review. We have a pro-bono architect who could do these. EPIC will continue studying the feasibility of this project and try to figure out next steps.

8:25     Dur Dur Bakery

1522 E Lake St. has been doing business for 16 years. Nur Ahmed opened the store on Cedar and Lake in 2000, and then moved to current location. Nearest residential home to our business is Rosie’s house. Another neighbor near our parking lot. We have had good neighbor relations. Recently a new neighbor at 2931 16th Ave has been calling the city and making complaints about the store. The city has made many visits/inspections. Seeking advice/assistance with this problem. In December alone, 35 email complaints were made from one neighbor. CS will help with dealing with the city. JM suggested that if there are lots of “false reports”, keep a log of these reports.

8:35     Progress:  New Home Construction Habitat Purchase 

We signed the contract to sell the land (2444 16th Ave). 2441 16th Ave is on its way to the city council.

EPIC has a First Time Homebuyer loan ($5,000 no interest); Rehab Support Fund ($8,000 no interest);
Apply with Greater Metro Housing Corporation.

8:40     Annual Meeting

The annual meeting will be held on April 23 or 30; to be decided in February.

8:50     Adjournment

January 10, 2016

General Membership Meetiing 01 - 10

 EPIC General Membership Meeting
Minutes 1/10/2008

The next EPIC meeting is:
Thursday, February 14th, 2008 @ 6:30 PM
Holy Rosary Church
2424 18th Ave. S.
Enter door on 18th Ave. side under the “OFFICE” sign.

EPIC Board Members Present:
Rosie Cruz (RC), Carol Pass (CP),  Linda Leonard (LL), Aden Awil (AA), Juliet Thompson (JT), Mary Gonsior (MG), Sherzad Kordian (SK), Earl Simms (ES), Paul Wichmann (PW)
EPIC Members Present:
Brad Pass (BP), Jennifer Bjorgo (JB), Shirley Heyer (SH), Bruce Singer (BS), Ron Moey (RM), Margaret Kirkpatrick (MK), Kendra Allen (KA), Amy Pass (AP), Chiffon Williams (CW)
Guests Present:
Scott Vreeland (SV), Leah Seelhoff (LS), Mark redicker (MR), Marcus Moore (MM), Harvey Winje (HW), Gary Schiff (GS), Doug Vanderveen (DV).

CP  chaired and called the meeting to order at 6:40 PM -  Introductions.

MOTION:    EPIC moves to accept the agenda.  Motion Passed

MOTION:    EPIC moves to accept the November 8th 2007 General Membership meeting                                 minutes.         Motion Passed.

Announcements and Reports:
·      Public Hearing (Community Action Committee) meeting on the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center-All Welcome!! Come see the Building Plans Jan. 24th at 7:00 PM at Holy Rosary Basement.
·      Link to the see the Park Center Plans: East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center on the LHB Web site: http://www.lhbcorp.com/government/pf1.html 
·      Community/Law Enforcement Action Network(Clean Sheets): http://www.walterleegutzmer.com/
·      Forum on Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan – how the city relates to neighborhoods - at Lake Hiawatha Community Center, 2701 44th St. Changed from 10 am to 2 pm, this Saturday. Give your input on how the city intends to relate to the Neighborhoods
·      Last call for letters pro/con for the Midtown Eco Energy Biomass Plant , Monday, January 14th.
                 Contact: Paula Connell, 651-282-2605, email: paula.connell@pca.state.mn.us

Revisiting The Biomass Plant:
CP  After initial presentations from Kandiyohi Development on their proposed Biomass Co-Generating plant to be located at the old City incinerator site behind Dalsin Roofing and behind Pioneer Cemetery, EPIC initially supported the project. A local biomass power plant and district heating plant which would help reduce the carbon footprint of the area and help provide oil independence sounded like a good idea. EPIC wrote a letter of support for the project and signed a “Good Neighbor Agreement” with Kandiyohi Development Partners (KDP).

However, as residents became more aware of the particulates and pollution the plant would deposit on the neighborhood, many people started having second thoughts, State Rep. Karen Clark was amongst them. EPIC decided to do independent research and make a determination based on available facts as to whether or not the Biomass Plant would be a good idea for the community.
People were alarmed by the following findings:
ü  According to the MPCA’s proposed environmental permit, the facility could release up to one million pounds of particulate matter into the air above this community every year.
ü  These particulates would include lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, arsenic, PAHs and others, many carcinogenic.
ü  According to the MPCA findings, “The Midtown district energy facility will be a major source of pollutants” for the neighborhood.
ü  There are reports that the available clean waste wood fuel supply may not be adequate which according to State Law could permit the facility to burn up to 30% Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF – garbage) without additional permits. They claim they won’t do that. We would have no way to know. GNA doesn’t require reporting.
ü  The community already has many sources of pollution – Dalsin Roofing with their hot tar storage, Bituminous Roadways with their asphalt plant and asphalt hot storage, Smith Foundry, the Arsenic Triangle Super Fund site and the high levels of lead in local homes and yards as a result of past leaded gasoline and lead based paint.
This along with the fact that there are no studies of the cumulative affect all these sources of pollution on our health, led the EPIC Board to vote to recommend rescinding support for the Plant and question the Good Neighbor Agreement with Kandiyohi Developers and to recommend that the EPIC membership do the same.
            It should be noted that the Green Institute’s “Comments on Midtown Eco-Energy          Biomass Facility Permit Application” became available to the EPIC Board after the   above recommendation was made. As such it played no part in our decision.

LL  All previous public meetings on the biomass plant were scheduled on the second Thursday of the month – the same time the EPIC meetings have always been scheduled. This prevented the EPIC members from attending either one or the other meeting. That is why the EPIC Board voted to cancel the December EPIC General Membership meeting. This enabled many EPIC members to participate in the last biomass public meeting.

AA  If this plant will produce so much pollution, why is the City of Minneapolis not against it?

GS  The City was told one thing by the developers. The City relies on the Pollution Control Agency (PCA) to set limits.
The developers must have three things in order for the City to sell them the land:
1)    A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
2)    A Good Neighbor Agreement with EPIC, and
3)    PCA approval.
At this time, the developer does not have a PPA.

PW  The agreement to sell the land states that the Good Neighbor Agreement may not be necessary if the neighborhood is found to be acting capriciously.

GS  The neighborhood is not being capricious – I think it is being responsible.

MOTION:    JT       EPIC rescinds any and all former endorsements of the Midtown EcoEnergy Biomass Plant project,
                                    Furthermore, EPIC will actively participate in opposition to the establishment of the Biomass plant,
                                    Furthermore, Given that there has not been a level of disclosure protective of the East Phillips Community, we do not believe there is sufficient confidence for the EPIC organization to continue as a signatory on the Good Neighbor Agreement with Kandiyohi. For this reason EPIC             withdraws its signature from this agreement.  JT Moved.  MG Seconded.     No one opposed.  BP Abstained.

Super America:
CP  Minneapolis Licensing held a meeting today with Members of the community, CCP SAFE, the Third Precinct and SA management. The goal was to convince SA that they must improve their performance as a neighborhood convenience store or face license revocation.
In the end, SA agreed to work with the Community and the Council Member to address a long list of “Suggestions” which was compiled with community input.
SA reported that they have police presence Fri. Sat. and Sun. nights and have a roving cop driving from SA location to SA location in addition.
In the past, SA verbally asked the Police to be more “aggressive” in their approach to controlling illegal activity on their premises. They learned that the police they hire are not being proactive enough and will seek a written agreement with the police outlining mutual expectations.
LS  Gas Pump and parking lot congestion is awful. Try to figure out how to make traffic flow better and safer.
CP  Are you committed to leaving in Five years?
SA  There are size problems and that prevents this store from meeting the core strategy of SA. At present, we will probably leave within that time frame.
DV  As a close neighbor, I am not interested in seeing this store cycle between barely acceptable and horrific. I am adamant that the store close.
GS  A boarded building is also a problem.
DV  A vacant lot cannot be as bad as SA.
MG  SA has an obligation to provide security three nights a week – that’s nice but it doesn’t make it safe the rest of the time. SA is not doing enough.
JT  You need to do something about the litter and keep the store clean.
PW  As long as you are planning to leave in five years, why not leave now?

East  Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center:
BP  The $3.25 million funding that CLIC had recommended over two years for the project evaporated to $319,000. If asked, the Mayor would say that the funding is there in the budget – but the city “gave” the park board their own Tax Levi dollars, - dollars the PB relies on for maintenance and repair of all eighty some city parks and said, ‘here, use this for East Phillips’. East Phillips values the city park system and would not recommend stopping roof repair and water heater replacement on other parks for our project. Apparently the Mayor would.
To counter this loss, the Design Team in cooperation with the MPRB is creating a partnership of community corporations, foundations, nonprofits and individuals which will raise money for the bricks and mortar of the buildings as well as the ongoing operating costs of the community center. Everyone is invited to contribute, contact CP at EPIC for details (612-280-8418).

Crime Issues:
GS  Vacant and Boarded  Foreclosures are increasing alarmingly. They are bad here but much worse in North Mpls.
2846 17th Ave. S. shooting. JT  called police three times about serious trouble at this address BEFORE the shooting. What does it take to make a difference?
GS  The right people didn’t get the information. Call Gary Schiff at 612-673-2209 or Don Greely at 612-673-3482. The neighbors all knew but were unable to get 911 or 311 to respond. This is very frustrating. GS “I want to find out what and who screwed up.”
CP  2625 Bloomington is the same.

Greenway Town Homes 2931 Bloomington:
            CP  This townhome development on the North side of the Midtown Greenway East of Bloomington Ave is about to break ground – but – it needs people who might be interested in a very affordable town Home similar to those on 24th St between Bloomington and 17th Ave. S., to indicate their interest. This will not commit youin any way to anything. It only tells the builder and the lender that there is interest in this project. If there are enough interested people in this project it can become reality. If not, the land might be sold to someone else who might build 80 efficiency transient apartments in a six story building without adequate parking – as was planned before.
            If you are interested and can afford the payments,  please call Carol Pass @ 612-916-8478 and complete at non-binding  form which will help to secure the property and prevent the consequences.

Updates on other developments:
            CP  2603 Bloomington Ave project has been minimalized to the point that zoning variances are not required. Therefore the project will proceed as the property owners wish.
            Open Arms at 25th and Bloomington is still raising money for this wonderful project. If you wish to donate, contact EPIC at 612-280-8418.
            Franklin Station Condos:  are a very affordable housing option for those who value inner-city living in a reviving community. Ground –breaking is imminent and if you have an interest, in this buyers market, Contact Carol Pass 612-280-8478.

Future Neighborhood Funding:
            CDBG cut funding to neighborhoods NRP funding. They propose that neighborhoods ‘compete’ for very limited funds - they propose only $2 million for 80 (eighty) neighborhoods.
            At the same time, the city wasted $10 million on convention scheduling software which they farmed out to a Singapore company which took the City of Minneapolis for a $10 million ride.

Adjourned at 8:45 PM                                                       Submitted by Brad Pass on 2/3/2008
Reviewed by Linda Leonard on 2/3/2008
Approved by EPIC GMMM on

January 9, 2016

Board Training 01-09-16

January 9th, 2026, 10;00 AM

East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address: eastphillips-epic.com
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Board Roster: Jenny Bjorgo, Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass
Board Members Present: Jenny Bjorgo (T), Rosie Cruz (T), Laura Dale, Shawna Dillon, Mary Gonsior, Jean Howard, Linda Leonard, Margarita Ortega, Carol Pass
Guests: Michelle Chavez, Neighborhood Specialist for Board Training,  Michael Green
Michael Green presented comments on Bylaw amending, delivered a document and left. 
Board training proceeded.This involved history of finance, character and purpose of the neighborhood organizations. There was a chance to ask questions, dialogue and discuss problems.